Nearly 100 friends and family members of the two people killed on April 1, 2009, when their car was struck by a runaway big rig on Angeles Crest Highway gathered Saturday in Glenola Park in La Cañada Flintridge following a memorial motorcycle ride.
Palmdale resident Angel Posca and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina died two years ago when the car-hauler truck lost its brakes while descending the steep mountain pass and smashed into several vehicles before coming to rest inside a storefront along Foothill Boulevard.
Glenola Park, near the corner of Vista Vista del Valle Road and Angeles Crest Highway — about a mile north of where the tragic crash occurred — is the site of a memorial to Angel and Angelina Posca and has become the destination for the annual gathering in their honor.
Roya Zarrinkhak, who attended elementary school in Palmdale with Angelina Posca, fought to hold back tears while standing with friends near her friend’s simple stone memorial and plaque.
“Angelina made me laugh all the time. There was no one like her. She was the nicest girl at school. She made me want to be just like her,” said Zarrinkhak, 14. “It makes me think about everything in my life. She made me realize not to take anything for granted.”
Marcos Costa, the driver of the truck involved in the fatal crash, faces trial later this month on charges of murder, vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving. Costa and his attorney argue that unsafe road conditions and improper maintenance of Angeles Crest Highway, including the lack of warning signs and runway truck escape ramps, are to blame.
A sign alerting drivers to escape medians now maintained along Angeles Crest was installed on the roadside along Glenola Park following the fatal crash.
Angel Posca, who preferred to go by the name Jorge, was a Harley-Davidson enthusiast, and so a caravan of motorcycles — this year there were 24 —makes the drive from Palmdale to Glenola Park each year.
Several participants said deep feelings of grief that return with the crash’s anniversary are tempered by being among so many who share memories of those lost.
“Jorge had a lot of friends, and he was a hardworking guy who lived for his family. This brings all of our family and friends together to remember the good times that we had. We have so many stories to share,” said Alex Posca, 54, who was Angel Posca’s younger brother.
“Uncle Jorge was the funniest, most charming and the sweetest guy. He wasn’t a celebrity, but he had a huge following,” added Nicole Posca, daughter Alex Posca.
Alex and Angel Posca had jointly owned and operated the Posca Bros. Dental Lab in Long Beach.
Yanette Posca, who lost both her husband and daughter in the crash, said her emotions were running too high to participate in the memorial motorcycle ride.
“It’s really difficult for me to be social right now,” she said during the gathering. “It’s worse this year than last year. Maybe last year I was still in denial.”